A Big Loss For The World’s Richest: Billionaires Lost $58 Billion From Plummeting Share Value

11 March 2020
Coronavirus, Business, Richest Billionaires in 2019, Forbes list, Stocks, Market losses, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Shares, Value
Image: 20th Century Studios

The coronavirus is causing havoc for the global economy and for the world’s richest billionaires, it amounted to a staggering loss

It’s all anyone can do to not think of the coronavirus right now, such as the magnitude of the impact it’s had on all facets of society. From cancelled sporting events, music festivals, fashion shows, and the forced closure of stores around the world, many are bracing themselves for a pandemic. But while the world grapples to contain the spread of coronavirus, the economy is plunging rapidly into a state of catastrophe and for the world’s richest billionaires, this all came to a head-on what’s now being called ‘Black Monday’.

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Market losses have been steep this week and as Forbes reports, the world’s 10 richest people lost a combined $37.7 billion USD. Luxury goods kingpin Bernard Arnault saw his fortune plunge $6 billion, closing the day with a net worth of $92.6 billion USD, while the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos lost $5.6 billion USD by the day’s market close. This comes after Amazon stock fell more than five percent, closing at a two-month low.

Earlier this week, GQ’s very own Brad Nash wrote of the impact of the coronavirus on the economy. Outlining the impact of coronavirus on the economy, Nash explained that global economies rely on a steady flow of human activity to drive a market economy and consequently, with many countries forced into a state of lock-down, “people are inclined to go out and about less, spending more time at home and thus causing a downturn in demand for just about every product imaginable. When people are inclined to drive less, fly less and ride less public transport, demand for oil goes down in turn, and prices plummet.”

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Yep, makes sense. And with profits falling and jobs now hanging in a state of uncertainty, the word “recession” is now being thrown around with the kind of wide-eyed terror you’d likely see in the toiletry aisle of your local supermarket.

It seems likely that we’re only just starting to see the impact of the coronavirus and given the rate at which news is unfolding, there might be far worse to come. This is partly the reason why Microsoft founder Bill Gates, along with his wife Melinda, committed up to $100 million from their foundation to fund response efforts.      

If you’re watching your shares drop while crying into your porridge, don’t panic – think long-term. And if that still won’t appease your anxiety, here’s how the world’s 10 richest fared after ‘Black Monday’ according to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaire rankings.

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  1. Jeff Bezos, Amazon, United States: Down $5.6 billion USD
  2. Bill Gates, Microsoft, United States: Down $3.8 billion USD
  3. Bernard Arnault & family, LVMH, France: Down $6.0 billion
  4. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, United States: Down $5.4 billion
  5. Amancio Ortega, Zara, Spain: Down $2.8 billion
  6. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, United States: Down $4.2 billion USD
  7. Larry Ellison, Oracle, United States: Down $1.8 billion USD
  8. Carlos Slim Helu and family, Grupo Carso, Mexico: Down $4.8 billion USD
  9. Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg LP, United States: Flat
  10. Larry Page, Google, United States: Down $3.3 billion USD

Via GQ Australia